Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
The most obvious place to start is, of course, the beach. There's the 7-mile long Fort Lauderdale Beach, but other options include Hollywood Beach, with its funky boardwalk; Deerfield Beach, popular with families; and Sebastian Beach, the section of Fort Lauderdale Beach that's especially popular with gay visitors. There's even a Canine Beach where dogs are allowed in the afternoons and evenings on the weekends. There are other sights beyond the beach:
Las Olas Boulevard. The city's main shopping and dining strip is lined with crowded restaurants, many with outdoor seating, and stores from familiar chains to small boutiques.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. This 1920s Caribbean-style plantation house has 35 acres of grounds planted with orchids and native Floridian flora where squirrel monkeys abound.
Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. The city's art museum hosts visiting exhibitions while its permanent collection is especially strong in works by contemporary Cuban artists.
Broward Center for Performing Arts. If the name sounds serious, the calendar of performances is largely not—Instead you'll find touring companies of Broadway musicals, popular entertainers, and light comedies.
Beachfront hangout since 1938
The museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida is also the cultural center of the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation, in the Everglades.
Insider find: A roster of local guides across Africa, including in the Zambezi River Valley, in Zimbabwe, and in Hwange National Park, near the Botswana border. Their walking and canoeing expeditions bring clients face-to-face with bull elephants, rhinos, and lions.
A 60,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility, only the third of its kind in the United States. Be sure to visit the collection of Haitian art and listen to the oral histories on race relations in Broward County.
Country-club casual is the mantra of this upscale, midsize ship line that succeeds in being fancy without being fussy.
Since 1956, the Polynesian Island Revue in this restaurant's dining room has been the goofiest floor show in town. Sip mai tais and watch Samoan fire-knife dancers and listen to a rendition of the Hawaiian wedding song.
Silversea’s fancy, pampering experience is delivered on six sleek, 132- to 540-passenger ships, done up in contemporary décor, with gourmet cuisine, spacious ocean-view suites, free booze, and top-notch service—the solicitous crew even shines your shoes and brings room service, course by course.
In a town where bars have a way of veering into the terminally raucous, this is a sanctuary for a sophisticated, older crowd, working a quiet groove to jazz singers Valerie Tyson and Nicole Henry.
This restaurant and lounge is ideal for people-watching on weekends, when the hip crowds swill cucumber cocktails and watermelon martinis and dance to hip-hop.
A vast room of floor-to-ceiling movie memorabilia.
The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival's art house has a tasty little café with first-rate popcorn, populated by local intelligentsia.